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Update on CCS Public Engagement in the Asia Pacific region

Much of what we have learnt about carbon capture and storage (CCS) public engagement best practice has been developed through practical project experiences in Europe, North America and Australia. As more CCS projects enter the development pipeline in the Asia-Pacific region these principles will need to be applied within local contexts.

It is important that existing CCS projects share their experiences so that new projects and stakeholders have the knowledge and ability to develop appropriate engagement and communication strategies.

This Insight highlights the body of work that is currently being undertaken on CCS public engagement within the Asia Pacific region. It catalogues the work that has been undertaken over the past 18 months and provides links to recent material that will be useful to those investigating CCS public engagement developments. We start with Australia and Japan where public engagement research and best practice from CCS projects is building on strong foundations​ before highlighting the new work and initiatives beginning to emerge from China, Indonesia and at a regional level.

Australia

CO2CRC

Maintaining strong relationships with community stakeholders is a core principle of the CO2CRC’s Otway Site, the world’s largest research and geosequestration demonstration project. Over the past several months the site operator, the CO2CRC, has held regular community meetings about research activities, their impact, and future plans. CO2CRC is in the process of upgrading its visitor centre at the Otway site. The upgrade will include substantial improvements to the functionality of the visitor centre as an educational and research space.

CO2CRC is currently examining opportunities to present CCS research, technology and the vital role CCS can play in global emission reduction through learning and education institutions in Victoria, Australia.

South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage Project

The South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage Project team, led by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is committed to an open process of community involvement during all stages of the project. The project team host regular community information sessions and make regular appearances at local agricultural shows. In October 2014 the project team released a report Lessons from Project Level Community Engagement that discusses the impacts and effects of the public engagement program undertaken by DMP.

The Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Department of Mines and Petroleum have run a number of workshops throughout 2015 in local primary schools on energy, climate change and CCS. These workshops are part of the CSIRO’s national sustainability education initiative - Sustainable Futures (formerly known as CarbonKids) and make use of elements of the Global CCS Institute’s CO2degrees Education program.

Japan

Communicating on CCS – a Japanese Framework

The Japanese Knowledge Network (a group of over 20 organisations that operate to share knowledge on topics critical to accelerating CCS in Japan) and the Global CCS Institute undertook a three-year project to develop a CCS Communications Framework. The Framework includes a set of tools and materials that can be drawn on by CCS project proponents and other stakeholders in Japan to build awareness and knowledge of CCS. The resource specifically targets a Japanese audience but could be adapted for use in other locations. A summary of the process and the final reports can be found here.

China

Public Engagement in Guangdong

The China Resources Power (Haifeng) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Integrated Carbon Capture and Sequestration Demonstration Project (CRP Power Project) are working with the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre (the Centre) to develop a public engagement and communication strategy as well as undertake low carbon energy education activities. The CRP Power Project’s demonstrable commitment to public engagement is the first of its kind in China and is taking a focussed approach to incorporating CCS public engagement best practices into the project’s overall plan. Recent activities include an internet survey examining perceptions of environment, climate change and energy, and a workshop looking at the role local and regional media can play in developing a public engagement strategy for the CRP Power Project. Additionally, the Institute’s CO2degrees material was used to deliver two educational workshops in Xiaomo Town (location of the CRP Power Project) at the end of 2014.

A report discussing the development of the project’s public engagement strategy has been released by the Centre and the Institute, available on the Global CCS Institute website.

CCS Education

The Global CCS Institute in partnership with the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Agenda 21 will run the ‘Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Challenge’ education event in Beijing during November 2015.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness about climate change and low-emission technologies amongst teachers and school aged children that can help address climate change, with a focus on CCS. The Institute’s CCS Challenge is a fun event that uses hands-on activities and experiments to explain climate change, energy and CCS.

Indonesia

The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Gundih Pilot Project is being carried out at the Gundih gas field, located in Blora District, Central Java Province.

A preliminary public engagement plan has been developed which has identified the need to complete important milestones such as stakeholder mapping, documenting the range of local perspectives and developing a communication framework.

The current local government has expressed their support for the project however the plan has been temporarily paused as the newly elected leadership are briefed on the CCS project. Therefore, it will be important to ensure continued engagement with the governmental bodies in the district.

For more detailed information on the development of Gundih’s public engagement plan see the Insight written by Dr Farah Mulyasari, Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia.

Regional

The Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programs in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP)

CCOP will be hosting a public engagement workshop on 4-6 November in Surabaya, Indonesia. The objectives of the workshop are to learn from the experiences of other CCS projects regarding how public engagement strategies can impact the outcomes of project development. The experiences and case studies that are shared will develop the capacities of workshop participants, many of whom are involved in research and demonstration projects in the Asia Pacific region.

The CCOP workshop is a positive example of opportunities being created to learn from the experiences of others.

Conclusion

We know that successful CCS projects depend on appropriate and well understood public engagement and communication strategies. There is already a significant amount of existing research and experience that can be used to help the development of these strategies and to assist the application of best practices in local contexts.

These updates highlight that the Asia Pacific region has a diverse range of CCS public engagement activities that are not only assisting with the development of individual projects but are also building skills and expertise across the region. The public engagement experiences of projects such as the Gundih CCS Pilot Project and the CRP Power Project will provide important engagement and communication lessons for others in the region. Therefore, there must continue to be ongoing collaboration in the region and a willingness by projects and organisations to share what they have learnt. Future knowledge sharing forums will provide crucial information and support for new projects that are implementing CCS public engagement activities for the first time.

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